Alexandria’s African American Local History

 

Char McCargo Bah

I was born in Alexandria, Virginia in the 1950s. I attended Charles Houston Elementary School when it was segregated. When it was time for middle school in the 1970s, Parker-Gray was already integrated.

The only thing I remembered about African American (Black) History from elementary to middle school was the one-liner about slavery.

One year after high school, one event changed my life for every. In 1976, Alex Haley’s book “Roots” came out and the movie followed in 1977. I never thought that it was possible to research my family who had been in the United States since the 1700s, but Alex Haley made me think I could.

Forty-four years later, I am still just as passionate about genealogy as I was in 1976. I have found so many family members during these forty-years of research. Those individuals that I located never knew the achievements that our family members made. These achievements were in their local community. Because of my relatives, I have expanded my research into uncovering local histories about African Americans in Alexandria. My readers have let me know through their many e-mails how my articles have resonated with them.

I would like to thank my readers for their many e-mails of gratitude for my local history articles. I know how my readers feel because I was in their shoes when I found out about my relatives and their contributions to their community.

I would like to thank the Alexandria Gazette Newspaper for giving me the platform to write about the local histories of African Americans.

Recently, the Zebra newspaper featured me in their newspaper. I like to thank Audrey P. Davis, the Director of the Alexandria Black History Museum for interviewing me and the Zebra Production and Sale Assistant, Shenise Foster.

You can read, “The Zebra Newspaper” article on page 8, at https://thezebra.advanced-pub.com/?issueID=53&pageID=1

 

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